Keeping your lawn in the best shape possible all year round requires a bit of work, whether you take the DIY route or hire professionals. An important aspect of lawn care for a healthy yard that lasts through the seasons is lawn aeration. But what is lawn aeration, and why should you be adding it to your list of yard work to-dos?
What is lawn aeration?
To start out, we’ll give you a better idea of what lawn aeration is. Basically, it’s the process of perforating your lawn - putting holes in it - to break up the soil and allow air, water, and nutrients to seep down to the roots of the grass. Nearly every lawn will benefit from lawn aeration service, especially lawns that have a lot of foot traffic or a thick layer of thatch.
There are different ways to aerate your lawn - here are three of the main options available to ensure your grass is getting the care it needs.
- Spike aerators poke a hole down into the soil with a solid spike. You can also wear spiked shows that poke holes in the soil while you walk around.
- Slicing aerators have rotating blades that slice through the grass and thatch and down into the soil. These are preferred to spike aerators because they don’t compact the soil when they make the cuts.
- Core or plug aerators use rows of hollow tines to remove plugs of soil from your lawn and place them on top where they can break down.
What are the benefits of aerating lawns?
Why should you add lawn aeration services to your list of lawn care to-dos? Here are some of the benefits you’ll experience when you do:
- New grass growth as nutrients reach the roots
- Continual movement of water and nutrients into the soil on a regular basis
- Less soil compaction
- Less thatch accumulation
- A flatter lawn
When is the best time to aerate your lawn?
The best time to aerate your lawn is the end of summer or in the spring. Late August to mid-September is prime time - the lawn is out of its summer dormancy period and aerating it will help ensure it gets the water and nutrients it needs to survive fall and winter. It’s also a good idea to schedule lawn aeration services right before you plant grass seed.
8 signs you need lawn aeration
Here are the main signs you need to make a plan for aerating your lawn:
- You have clay soil. Clay soil is extremely dense, so it needs help pushing water and nutrients down to the roots.
- You have a thick layer of thatch. Thatch that’s thicker than a half-inch can prevent water, oxygen, and nutrients from making it down to your lawn’s root system.
- You have a lot of foot traffic in your backyard. If your backyard sees a lot of action, it compacts the soil down and prevents proper transmission of water and nutrients.
- You see thinning grass. If your lawn looks thin, it may be too compacted for the roots to properly grow.
- You notice discolored spots on your lawn. Yellow and brown spots can occur when the grass doesn’t have the nutrients it needs to thrive.
- You see puddles form on your lawn. Puddles indicate that the lawn needs aeration so it can properly drain and deliver water to the roots system.
- Your soil dries out quickly. If the soil in your yard is saturated from rain or watering, it should take a while to dry out. If it dries out quickly, you need lawn aeration services.
- Your grass has stopped growing altogether. Grass needs roots to grow, and it also needs water, oxygen, and nutrients. If your grass is growing very slowly or not at all, you need to aerate.
Not sure if you need lawn aeration? Try the screwdriver test. Basically, you just stick a screwdriver down into your lawn. If you have difficulty, your soil is impacted and you need to aerate.
Let Natural Green help you with aerating your lawn
Need lawn aeration services from the pros? Contact Natural Green today and let us help your yard thrive all year long.